Collaboration requires a meaningful interaction for the purpose of achieving a better understanding about a concept, problem or phenomenon or the creation and discovery of a new piece of knowledge (Chai et al, 2011). New technology including social networking and mobile aps are creating opportunities for innovation and collaborative learning (Laurillard, 2009) however there must be care taken that the technology contributes and fosters collaborative learning in a meaningful way, rather than just acting as a colourful gadget that replaces textbooks and notebooks without adding anything new to the learning experience. It is very interesting to read research into the use of collaboration based on Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development , with collaboration excercises being quite useful in getting students to develop their mental functions by interacting with their fellow students, rather than just with their teachers who are far more cognitively advanced and therefore more challenging to model after (Chai et al 2011).
I personally am interested in the use of mobile devices used on field trips that allow students to record, take note, take pictures which they can then share and build upon with the group. Google docs is a useful technology to have for collaborative learning as it allows students to all contribute to a paper in real time, responding and evaluating each others work and then building new ideas upon their peers work and feedback. After reading about IWB technology and collaboration I am slightly nervous as it seems easy to fall back into teacher centred more authoritative interactivity, with no student input or feedback, just using the board as a substitute for a blackboard (Beuchamp & Kennewell, 2009) If i was to use IWB for collaborative class work I would make sure that i clearly understand what I am trying to get the class to investigate and create a dialogue early on with the students about what tools and technology would be suitable and how we would go about researching, finding and presenting the information as a group. I also think the physical location of the IWB could present a problem for collaborative, teacher facillitated work, and I would be comfortable with showing something on an IWB but then having the students also be able to access informaion on their own devices.
I think gamification is a really interesting way to inspire kids to work together as teams. I was really impressed by the youtube clip that showed teachers collaborating to come up with interesting engaging games. It reminded me a bit of companies like Google who give their employees a set amount of time for them to work on their own ideas. I think technologies such as youtube, digital games and video and audio conferencing can all be used in an effective way for collaboration (Edutpoia 2009)
Beuchamp, G., Kennewell, S. (2009). Interactivity in the Classroom and its impact of learning. Computers and Education 54 doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.033
Chai, C.S., Lim, W.Y., So, H.J. & Cheah, H.M. (2011). Advancing collaborative learning using ICT: Conception, cases and design. Ministry of Education Singapore. ISBN: 978‐981‐08‐8299‐.
Edutopia. (2009). Digital Generation Theme: Collaborating. Retrieved May 15, 2017 from https://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-collaborating.
Laurillard, D. (2009). The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. International Journal of Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1), 5-20. doi: 10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2.